Drones crashing on Ukraine’s front lines with minimal explanation during the country’s ongoing war against Russia raised concern. Quantum Systems, a German technology firm that provided the aerial vehicles, had initially functioned smoothly for Ukraine’s military until late last year. The machines began unexpectedly falling from the sky upon returning from missions, prompting the Ministry of Defense to seek a solution.
Quantum’s investigation revealed that Russians were jamming the wireless signals connecting the drones to their navigation satellites, causing them to lose their way and crash. To counteract this, Quantum developed AI-powered software as a secondary pilot and added a manual option for landing the drones using an Xbox controller. They also established a service center to monitor Russia’s electronic attacks.
Ukraine’s Chief Military Commander, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, emphasized the importance of electronic warfare in breaking the stalemate in the conflict. The war has turned into a laboratory for the U.S., Europe, and China to gather information on future battle tactics. As a result, NATO countries have increased efforts to acquire and build electronic weapons.
During the conflict, Russian tanks initially advanced successfully due to their electronic warfare prowess, but they later encountered difficulties. Analysts noted that Russia has adapted by creating smaller, more mobile electronic weapons to combat Ukrainian forces.
Ukraine has applied a startup approach to developing electronic warfare tools, in contrast to Russia’s established system. The country hosted a hackathon for firms to develop methods to combat Iranian Shahed drones, and several companies are creating devices that can withstand Russian jamming. Meanwhile, at Infozahyst, engineers are working on systems to track and identify Russian air defense units, indicating that controlling the sky could alter the course of the war.
Recently, Quantum executives shared their experience with electronic warfare with NATO. They expressed the need for American and European systems to be better prepared to counter such attacks, receiving support for a call to action.